October 26th, 2012
Gear is a necessary and enjoyable part of the photography process. But sometimes we can spend way too long thinking about good gear, and not enough working to improve our photography.
In this guest post for Seshu’s Tiffinbox blog, I describe the problem of gear acquisition syndrome, and then outline some steps to cure it.
> Read the full post over here.
October 1st, 2012
This week a quick video on how setting a regular time for your own family photo session helps you create a lasting archive of your kids as they grow and change.
Music: “Evening Seaside” by Inspector 22
Do you have regular dates you make for your family photographs? Let me know in the comments below.
September 21st, 2012
Cute girl? Check. Blurred background? Check. Canon 5D II, EF 85mm f/1.8 at f2/.8.
The portrait photographer’s go-to look often has the subject in sharp focus, but the background out of focus. This draws the eye towards the face of the subject, and tidies up distracting elements in the background, leaving behind that gentle blurred patterning known as ‘bokeh’.
A combination of factors is creating a narrow depth of field – in other words a small plane of the depth of the image is acceptably sharp, and the rest blurred out. Most of the time the sharp area is to the front, and the area behind is out of focus, but technically everything in front of the sharp area will be out of focus too (but it’s normally thin air so you don’t see the blur), but sometimes you’ll see a shot that’s layered to go from blurred to sharp to blurred again.
I often get asked how you can get this background blur, so here’s an overview of the the five factors at play in achieving that creamy bokeh.
September 13th, 2012
This week, I take to video to discuss the announcement of the Fuji X-E1 and what it means for people like me who bought the X-Pro1.
Basically, unless you completely love the optical viewfinder of the X-Pro1, the X-E1 looks fantastic: lighter, smaller, cheaper, with a better EVF, stereo mic in and a small pop-up flash. With the same great sensor and processor.
September 5th, 2012
Take a lovely summer morning, two handsome boys and an amazing backyard, and you’ve the making of a really good kids’ portrait session. Throw in some chickens, and good becomes great.
August 29th, 2012
How does Fuji’s interchangeable-lens rangefinder-style camera do on holiday?
There’s travel photography, and then there’s vacation photography. In the first you’re traveling to shoot, and your time and gear is chosen carefully to deliver great images. In the second, you’re just on holiday and like everyone else, you want to bring a camera along.
This is specifically a review of using the camera on a family vacation – I wasn’t sent to England and France on assignment, nor did I spend lots of time there specifically going out to shoot. But I did want to bring a camera that wasn’t going to annoy me.
Those of you who have been following along for a while will remember that it was a vacation trip to California last year that pushed me into looking for a smaller but high-performing camera. The willing but somewhat limited Olympus EPL2 has now been and gone, and it was the Fuji X-Pro1 (and 18mm F/2.0 and 35mm f/1.4 lenses) that made the trip with us across the Atlantic.